The Running Woman

by Patricia Carlon
A woman is observed running from Larapinta Creek Bridge; then the body of a very unpleasant fourteen-year old girl is found, drowned. Did the girl fall into the water by accident? Or was she pushed?
Attractive, blonde Gabriel Endicott is an apparently wealthy young widow, a newcomer to Australia’s Larapinta district where everyone else seems to know the neighbors very well indeed. The next day she receives a newspaper clipping in the mail about the drowning. The clipping ends with the enigmatic statement that the police are anxious to interview a woman seen running from the bridge over the creek, “a young, fair-haired woman wearing a white dress.”
Gabriel doesn’t know who would have sent her this news. Or the subsequent envelopes containing information about the death of young Carol Zamia. But she was wearing a cream-colored suit and had walked near the bridge that night. Now the police, the town, everyone, seems to suspect her of complicity in the girl’s death. Either she pushed Carol or, aware of an accident, she failed to rescue her. Gabriel’s efforts to free herself from suspicion only arouse more doubts as to her innocence, even in those who want most to believe in her.